My ideas for a simpler holiday were shut down. - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-04-2007, 10:39 AM
 
orangefoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oxfordshire UK
Posts: 3,051
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One year we decided not to sepnd hundreds of pounds on grown adults and gave all the ILs second hand gifts like books and other nice things which we had found in charity shops or on ebay wrapped in brown paper tied with metallig ribbons. Each had their own little bag of goodies which were opened with incredulity and put to one side while they played with the digital video recorder BIL had bought for SIL and the ipod he had bought for MIL.

We had put some thought into what they would like and they were things like a little mirror compact, a series of books FIL was reading, a marble solitaire with wooden board that BIL always admired and coveted at our house, a silever bracelet andmtching earrings that I made for MIL.

My family has always approached gift giving in a thoughtful rather than £££ way so it didn't seem odd to me to do this.

They bought Dh a remote control fart machine, a t shirt with stick on velcro letter to write your own slogan and a DIY manual. I had make up although they know I never wear it and a fashion top just like SILs (and almost in her size)

We haven't had any gifts from them since and we don't give them anything either. It makes Christmas easy to be honest.
orangefoot is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-04-2007, 11:41 AM
 
mama-meg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This year instead of buying things for my brothers I am making a donation to heifer international in their name. My brothers buy what they like anyway and normally I spend weeks agonizing about what I could possibley buy for them. I am doing the same thing for my mother's significant other - I am making a gift for my mother. We're not in touch with my husband's family so I don't worry about ILs. Every year the kids and I make salt or cinnamon dough ornaments and give them to everyone and we'll continue with that tradition. We also make baked goods for gifts outside of the family (friends, neighbors, teachers) and that is a tradition we will be keeping. We have pared it down to my grandmother's sugar cookies, my mothers shortbread kisses (which never last long enough to make it into gifts ) and gingerbread cookies. And quick breads. And... well, alright - so the baking I can't imagine paring down, we bake something nearly every day starting in mid november.

Last year my mother gave us a zoo membership in addition to tons of presents for the kids. This year I am trying to make it clear that the zoo membership should be in the place of other gifts, not in addition to them.
mama-meg is offline  
Old 10-04-2007, 12:16 PM
Banned
 
accountclosed3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,594
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
my mother told me that she likes to watch people open gifts. so, giving gifts that can't be opened is no fun for her.

i think that this is part of why people want to exchange so many gifts. they want to see their gifts (the one the give) being opened! apparently, this excites some people more than receiving.

makes sense to me, honestly. i prefer to give rather than receive.

but what is hard for me is giving what isn't prefered. i try to give useful gifts, now, or consumables, or home-made stuff (usually home-made consumables). but it rarely works out. most people don't like what i give them. that's quite frustrating to me. LOL

i guess i'm not the best giver.
accountclosed3 is offline  
Old 10-04-2007, 12:59 PM
 
Juvysen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 7,279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
my mother told me that she likes to watch people open gifts. so, giving gifts that can't be opened is no fun for her.

i think that this is part of why people want to exchange so many gifts. they want to see their gifts (the one the give) being opened! apparently, this excites some people more than receiving.
that's how my MIL feels... which makes me feel uncomfortable opening gifts from her, because she doesn't necessarily put a lot of thought into whether or not I'd like it and often I'm not too excited about what I got. : I then feel so phoney acting like I like it so that she doesn't feel bad and gets her "christmas joy" watching me open stuff.

I'm actually thinking a post-christmas swap would be nice maybe on MDC or with my friends locally... so I can give away the stuff I'll never use (like the 40 bottles of lotion I always get I don't USE lotion!!!) and maybe someone else will want to get rid of something that I'd like... or not, but still I think it'd be great to give these things to people who would really want them.

Quote:

makes sense to me, honestly. i prefer to give rather than receive.

but what is hard for me is giving what isn't prefered. i try to give useful gifts, now, or consumables, or home-made stuff (usually home-made consumables). but it rarely works out. most people don't like what i give them. that's quite frustrating to me. LOL

i guess i'm not the best giver.
I know what you mean. I figure even if they don't like consumables, though, at least they can feed them to guests or something and not have them sitting around their house for eons

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

Juvysen is offline  
Old 10-05-2007, 09:39 AM
 
nascarbebe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: rural Missouri
Posts: 1,089
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
my mother told me that she likes to watch people open gifts. so, giving gifts that can't be opened is no fun for her.

i think that this is part of why people want to exchange so many gifts. they want to see their gifts (the one the give) being opened! apparently, this excites some people more than receiving.

makes sense to me, honestly. i prefer to give rather than receive.
I think that's the prob with DH's family. They always want us to get together and open gifts. But it's hard to get excited when my MIL likes to give us each a box filled with misc. items like Post-its and cheap frames, teatowels, and ice scrappers from the dollar store. Since we only see them a few times a year I can't convince them to cut down on gift giving. In the last 5 yrs there have been 4 children born just between my SIL and myself and I'm preg so it's starting to get expensive anyway to get everyone a gift.

At one point we started doing gift cards but now it seems silly for everyone to exchange $25 gift cards with each other.

In my side of the family it's more about getting together and cooking big meals. So that's probably what I want my kids to learn too. I'm salivating just thinking of my mom's awesome tamales (we're Mexican).

Awesome SAHM to 5-yr-old son,3-yr-old girl and a baby girl. Blog about my home http://azaleastudio.blogspot.com
nascarbebe is offline  
Old 10-06-2007, 10:44 AM
 
Glover_Girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 428
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a huge family (8 kids total and most of us all have kids). We draw names and get together the weekend after Christmas and exchange gifts and eat and drink merrily and play games! I think we really do celebrate in true spirit of Christmas. We do have a dollar limit but it's not always strictly adhered to. A few years ago my sisters and I sat down and talked about the gifts. It seemed we were in a rut and just buying gift cards for places that we no longer shop at or Bath & Body Works gift packs out of habit. We've tried to make the whole gift giving more meaningful. My sister is a quilter and has started making quilts (so now everyone wants her to draw their name!). I've always been a meaningful shopper but I've been doing more earth friendly things. Last year I gave my dad (one of the names I drew) a box with compact fluorescent bulbs, An Inconvenient Truth book, and we adopted a polar bear on his behalf (my dd is very concerned about them).

For my immediate family (I celebrate the holiday itself with my dd, a sister and her 2 kids, and my Mom as we all live close by in NH), we've really tried to not only scale down the expenditures, but the amount of stuff we buy for each other. We are all in declutter mode. This year, we have talked about having an earth friendly Christmas. My sister is on board but I'm not sure about my mother. She's in spending mode since my father died almost a year ago and left her with a sizable amount of money. But I am asking my mother to buy only specific items for my DD so we don't end up with a bunch of crap from Walmart. It's hard for her when she wants to buy for the grandkids, but over the past several years, it's gotten better. Almost three Christmases ago now, my mom showed up my house with about 5 large boxes full of gifts for my dd! I jsut about S&*# a brick!! That was the wake up call for me! Since then I've actually provided her with magazine pages with specific items she can choose from.

Anyway...I'm rambling and probably off topic here. I think my message is that while you want to try and change people, when it comes to Christmas it's hard to change people's habits and ideas of what to buy for gifts. If you make the change yourself and start buying thoughtfully for others then you've spoke volumes about your beliefs! You can continue to press for more thoughtful giving to your children but I think when it comes to Grandparents, it could be an uphill battle. After a while people will either get the message and start to think about what they buy or they'll roll their eyes and think you're being a wierd-o! I get that all the time from my family. They have always been material consumers and I've always been a treehugger. Just do what you can!

Lisa mom to Gillian (7) : and three : :
Glover_Girls is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off